Revealed: how King’s ‘Black Reconstruction Plan’ is still valid in divided America 



Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington 1963 led us all astray. America was not full of Black and white kids all yearning to live together in racial harmony. Rather, it was the true King that cried out “we can’t wait” and planned to relieve the pain of Black people.

Years before his assassination in 1968, King had the most extraordinary vision of a Bill of Rights for the Disadvantaged. This little known side of the civil rights leader escaped widespread notice in America.

Long-forgotten revolutionary text
Uncovered in a few pages tucked away in the back of his book Why We Can’t Wait, published in the year of his “dream” speech, King outlined a bill to counter the effects of centuries of slavery and social oppression.

A bold programme of primarily Black reconstruction was needed on the scale of the Marshall Plan that rejuvenated post war Europe, he said. Funded by a bold governmental policy, King’s Bill of Rights would combat the “misery that haunts Black people” and place them ahead in the competition for individual and collective betterment

Black families, emerging from their blighted neighbourhoods, would be eligible for subsidised quality homes and education. Budding entrepreneurs could negotiate government-backed loans. Health care and insurance would be available at no-cost at special medical centres.

History supports King’s views
To his detractors, King said, Americans deceive themselves that positive action against shameful conditions is a “black thing”, unfairly affecting “white rights”. However, he knew full well that special measures for the worthy and deprived have always been an accepted principle in the United States.

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Excerpts from — see  Archives 04, and scroll to 09/13/03 Martin Luther King’s plan for Black Reconstruction in America uncovered – but who’s to pay, and why?